Up until the island contest flying Finn Hirvonen hadn’t won a round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship following his exclusion from first place in Portugal earlier in the campaign.
But he ended that barren run with a stylish victory on the gravel event, his first for Citroen since his close-season switch from Ford.
“It was very important that Mikko took this first victory and I am very, very happy that it has happened,” said Matton. “Next year he is the driver nominated on every event for Citroen. Once you have got this first victory the others will follow.
“After winning the drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles at the Rallye de France, we have now added the final feather to our cap with the world championship runner-up spot for Mikko. There’s only one more step for him to take in his career and we’ll be trying very hard to help him achieve that in 2013.”
Hirvonen will get a chance to repay Matton’s faith in him when Spain brings the curtain down on another action-packed WRC season from 8-11 November. The Salou-based round uses a combination of gravel and asphalt stages.